“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant1.”
In November I had a chance to review a fragrance boldly titled WINTER from Los Angeles-based small-batch house Dasein Fragrance. At the time I had enjoyed the rich lavender and pine cologne so much that it inspired in me an article for the upcoming fourth issue of ODOU Magazine, which should be hitting store shelves in the fall. Without giving anything away, I wrote about how WINTER fueled my fiction writing during NaNoWriMo, making it near and dear to my heart; after all, anything that prompts long typing sessions is good in my books! We also hosted a giveaway for a bottle of WINTER and had an enthusiastic turnout, and it was fun to discuss it on Daytime York Region with Jeff Moore as well. I indeed had WINTER on my mind for a good several months there, and that has nothing to do with my Game of Thrones obsession.
So when Samantha Rader, perfumer for the house, teased us by putting up on the website samples for her second scent months before the release date I knew I had to try it out. At first I thought they had manipulated the image, because there was simply no way a perfume could exist in such a unique shade of green… right? WINTER was a snowy clear liquid, but its sequel SPRING looked like a fruity cooler; I wanted to pour it into a wide glass with some heart-shaped ice cubes and forget that exams were coming up.
I think it goes without saying that Dasein Fragrance knows what’s cool (pun intended), and interesting looking cosmetics are all the rage right now in the Instagram-driven social media world. Ben Bennett, founder and creative director of HatchBeauty (the company behind Dollar Shave Club) says of intriguing packaging such as this: “Now more than ever it is becoming important that a brand really have distinctive design characteristics or brand marks that are immediately recognizable2.” If green perfume isn’t immediately recognizable, I don’t know what is!
For SPRING there was a price increase of $20 from WINTER3, and I understand this is due to the specific ingredients used within the formula. Each bottle from Dasein Fragrance is hand blended in small batches, making this an extremely personal brand. Couple that with the unique compositions and pretty packaging and you’re clearly onto something.
SPRING is the second scent from the house, marking an expansion into their seasons line. Up on their store now is SUMMER, a brilliantly hued third installment that I will hopefully be getting my sniffer on real soon. And in subsequent months AUTUMN will join the gang, as well. But first – SPRING, in all its glory.
Spring in Ontario, Canada tends to be a roll-of-the-dice ordeal; some years it’ll come in March and we enjoy a good three months of mild weather before it becomes hot. In other years winter will stretch on until the start of May and we’ll have just a moment or two to snap prom photos under the fleeting sun before we put on our jackets again. And still we have years like 2015, when one day brings thunderstorms and the next scorching heat.
SPRING captures the feeling of this ever-changing season perfectly, with a peppery mint and menthol opening that brings to mind an intense mint gum with a dash of freshly ground black pepper. Imagine crushing mint leaves and holding them under your nose, inhaling the tingly cool sensation. Then add the warm aroma of black pepper, a tabletop classic we all associate with homely cooking and anticipation; and its core a wet wood, soaked from the rain but still intensely fragrant. Is it a recently planted addition to the yard? Perhaps so.
Editor’s note: Samantha would like to iterate that mint is not an official note in SPRING. She suggests vetiver instead, but as you know – everyone smells thing a tiny bit differently!
Verdict: SPRING is the masculine smell of freshly cleaned skin, renewal and comfort, in contrast to its predecessor which smelled like your (our?) dreamy lumberjack friend hanging in flannel around the Christmas tree. Each of Rader’s scents tells a story of lust and season, and they are truly some of the most intriguing smells I’ve had the pleasure of trying. Mint for spring? That makes so much sense, but I’d never seen it used before. Pepper to add warmth? Why hadn’t I thought of that? I am delighted by SPRING and cannot wait to see where this line will go next. And as a final note: no, this perfume will not stain your skin green. There are no ogres in this swamp, you hear? Only bloggers with minty smelling wrists.
1Anne Bradstreet, The Works of Anne Bradstreet
3Dasein Fragrance: Shop. Prices true at time of writing.